Biden Surprises 94-Year-Old Voter on Zoom Call: Campaign Update
(Bloomberg) -- Democratic nominee Joe Biden surprised a 94-year-old supporter when he turned up on a Zoom event hosted by Oprah Winfrey. President Donald Trump made an appeal to Hispanic voters at a rally in Phoenix. And at nearly $14 billion, the 2020 U.S. election will be the most expensive ever.
There are six days until Election Day and 47 days until the Electoral College meets.
Biden Surprises 94-Year-Old Supporter on Zoom Call With Oprah
Biden surprised a 94-year-old woman who had traveled 600 miles to vote as she shared her story with Oprah Winfrey during a get-out-the-vote event on Zoom Wednesday evening.
“You’re so inspiring,” the Democratic presidential nominee told Mildred Madison, whose story of traveling 600 miles round trip from Illinois to vote in Detroit after she didn’t receive an absentee ballot was widely reported earlier this month.
Madison has voted in every presidential election since 1948, when she cast her vote for Harry Truman, and recalled her pride in being able to do so after her father had experienced attempts at voter suppression.
“Your story just gives me that extra boost of hope and energy and optimism,” Biden told her.
Madison said she voted for Biden’s experience but “the main thing is you have a wonderful vice president.” Madison pointed out that, like Kamala Harris, she is a graduate of Howard University in Washington.
“If I make it, I’m coming to see you. That’s a promise,” he said. “I give you my word as a Biden.” -- Jennifer Epstein
Trump Makes a Play for Hispanic Voters in Arizona (7:43 p.m.)
Trump made an appeal to Latino voters at a Phoenix rally on Wednesday, promising to enact policies that would create 2 million jobs for them and 500,000 Latino-owned businesses.
“Today I’m announcing the American Dream plan,” Trump told his rally audience, which at one point chanted “Latinos love Trump.” The plan would create 2 million jobs over four years and 500,000 “Hispanic-owned” small businesses, he said. The White House later issued a document with more details of the proposal.
He called Latinos “great natural business people.” His opponent, Democratic nominee Joe Biden, “would obliterate everything Hispanic Americans have worked for,” he said.
The plan is very similar to a package of promises Trump made to Black voters in September that he called the “Platinum Plan.” Polls have shown the president gaining ground with both minority groups since 2016, though not enough to make up for losses among White voters.
The Pew Research Center estimates that a record 32 million Hispanics will be eligible to vote in 2020, accounting for 13% of all eligible voters, the largest contingent of nonwhite voters. -- Josh Wingrove
At $14 Billion, 2020 Will Be Most Expensive Election (7:05 p.m.)
Nearly $14 billion will be spent in the 2020 U.S. election cycle, making it the most expensive contest in history and double the amount that was spent on federal races four years before, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
The nonpartisan research organization said an unprecedented wave of late donations triggered by the battle over Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, closely fought Senate races and the presidential contest led it to increase its spending prediction from $11 billion, made just four weeks ago. The new estimate, based on filings to the Federal Election Commission, includes $6.6 billion spent on the presidential race by candidates, parties and outside spending groups, including super political action committees, with the remainder going to congressional races.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s campaign will be the first to raise $1 billion from donors, the groups said, after garnering $938 million through Oct. 14. Trump raised $596 million through the same period. Those totals don’t include money brought in by the candidates for their political parties.
Overall, Democrats have dominated the money race, with $6.9 billion spent so far compared with $3.9 billion for Republicans. The Democrats’ total includes several well-financed presidential candidates who competed against Biden in a crowded field of nomination candidates.
Small-dollar donors, those giving less than $200, accounted for 22% of the fundraising so far, more than in any previous cycle. More than 1.5 million women have given to federal committees, totaling $2.5 billion and accounting for 44% of all donors, up from 37% four years ago. Super-PACs, which can raise money in unlimited amounts from individuals and corporate entities, have spent $2.6 billion so far, almost twice the amount they spent in 2016. -- Bill Allison
Pennsylvania Says It Will Segregate Late-Arriving Mail Ballots (5:11 p.m.)
Pennsylvania officials said Wednesday that late-arriving mail ballots will be kept separate, taking a step that could head off a Republican appeal against mail-in voting at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Republicans are asking the Supreme Court to block a three-day extension ordered by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for ballots to arrive. An evenly divided U.S. Supreme Court refused to take that step last week, but the court could reverse course now that Justice Amy Coney Barrett is in place to break the tie.
The Pennsylvania Department of State said all mail-in and absentee ballots delivered by the U.S. Postal Service and received by counties after 8 p.m. on Election Day through 5 p.m. on Nov. 6 can’t be processed and must be be stored separately from other ballots “until further direction is received.”
Separating the ballots could reduce the need for the high court to take up the GOP appeal and rule before the election. It leaves open the possibility the court could invalidate the late-arriving ballots in any post-election legal fight.
The Trump campaign and Republican Party have brought suits in several states to curb mail-in voting, which the president calls rife with fraud, though there is no evidence that is the case. -- Greg Stohr
Trump Calls News Conference to Announce Endorsements (4:00 p.m.)
Trump called a news conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday to announce endorsements in a swing state where the latest poll shows him trailing Biden.
Speakers at the event included representatives of Nevada truckers, contractors, retailers and entrepreneurs -- all of whom provided their groups’ endorsements and lavished praise on the president.
A New York Times/Siena College poll released Tuesday showed Biden ahead of Trump by 6 percentage points in Nevada.
But Trump claimed he’s ahead in polls nationally and in many swing states -- citing outlier surveys that contradict polls showing Biden with the lead.
Trump also boasted about the size of his rallies. “They’ve all been big,” Trump said. “Don’t think anyone has ever seen anything like this.” -- Josh Wingrove
Bidens Cast Early Ballots in Delaware (2:14 p.m.)
Biden cast his own ballot Wednesday in Delaware, as both campaigns moved to promote early voting in the final days of the election.
Along with Jill Biden, the candidates voted by appointment at the Carvel Delaware State Building in Wilmington, leaving the building with matching “I Voted” stickers.
Trump cast his ballot Saturday at a library in Palm Beach.
A record 74 million Americans have already voted in the election, with 25.5 million having done so by early voting. With only days until the election, advocates and campaigns are urging voters to cast their ballots in person or use ballot drop boxes and not rely on the U.S. Postal Service. -- Jennifer Epstein
Biden, Obama to Campaign Together in Michigan (2:12 p.m.)
President Barack Obama will campaign with Biden together in Michigan on Saturday, just three days before Election Day, the campaign said.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll released Wednesday showed Biden 7 points ahead in Michigan, while the RealClearPolitics average gives the Democratic nominee an 8.7 percentage-point advantage in the state, which Trump won by 11,000 votes, his narrowest margin nationally.
Underscoring the critical importance of the swing state to both campaigns, Trump and Biden have each visited Michigan several times during the campaign and have deployed surrogates, including their running mates and family members.
Trump traveled to Michigan for a rally on Tuesday and plans to return there on Friday. Biden‘s trip on Saturday will be his fourth visit in recent weeks.
Obama has appeared at three drive-in rallies since he began campaigning in person last week. -- Jennifer Epstein
Trump Rally Could Disrupt Early Voting Site in Florida (1:27 p.m.)
Elections officials are warning that a Trump rally at a Tampa stadium Thursday could disrupt early voting.
Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Gerri Kramer warned voters Wednesday that the Trump rally at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, “could cause traffic delays” and recommended other early voting centers.
“As per Florida Statute, electioneering is not allowed within 150 feet of an Early Voting site, but the Supervisor of Elections Office cannot prohibit campaign activities outside this ‘no solicitation zone,’” Kramer said in a statement. “The rally and campaigners will be outside this zone.”
Florida Republicans have been heavily promoting early voting in an effort to cut into a huge Democratic lead in mail-in voting.
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won Hillsborough County with 51.5% of the vote in 2016, while Trump picked up 44.7%.
New Poll Shows Why Biden Is Spending Time in Georgia (1 p.m.)
A new poll shows why Biden spent some time in Georgia just a week before Election Day.
A Monmouth University poll released Wednesday showed the former vice president with a five percentage-point advantage over Trump in the state, the first Georgia poll in which the Democratic nominee’s lead exceeds the margin of error.
Registered voters in Georgia back Biden 50% to 45%. The survey has a margin of error of 4.4 points. The past two Monmouth polls of Georgia have shown the candidates statistically tied. In September, Trump led Biden 47% to 46% and the two were tied in a July poll of the state.
In the U.S. Senate races, Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff has increased his margin of support over incumbent Republican Senator David Perdue 49% to 46%. Perdue was ahead 48% to 42% a month ago.
The Democratic challenger also leads in the special election Senate seat race. Democrat Raphael Warnock has nearly doubled his support in the past month to 41%, up from 21% in September, but he is still below the 50% threshold needed to prevent a runoff. Republican incumbent Senator Kelly Loeffler has 21%, down from 23% a month ago, and Republican challenger Doug Collins has 18%, down from 22% a month ago.
The poll was conducted from Oct. 23-27 among 504 Georgia registered voters. -- Emma Kinery
Trump Says He’s Sending ‘Husbands’ Back to Work (10:21 a.m.)
In his ongoing bid to narrow the yawning chasm of a gender gap this year, Trump told women in Michigan that he’s getting “your husbands” back to work.
At a rally in Lansing on Tuesday, Trump said that he loves women “much more than the men” and was working to end coronavirus-related restrictions on going to schools and offices.
“I’m getting your kids back to school,” he said, adding later, “You know what else -- I’m also getting your husbands -- they want to get back to work. We’re getting your husbands back to work.”
Recent polls have shown female voters prefer Biden over Trump by as many as 23 percentage points.
In response, Trump has said that “suburban women” should vote for him because Democrats will cause crime to “spread to the suburbs,” argued that his rescinding of housing regulations “saved your damn neighborhood” and at one point joked pleaded at a rally, “Suburban woman! Will you please like me?!” -- Justin Blum
Ranked Choice Could Determine Maine’s Senate Race (9:28 a.m.)
A new poll shows Maine’s Senate race may come down to voters’ second choices.
Under a new voting system in place since 2018, Maine voters get to rank their preferences for candidates. If their first choice isn’t in the top two contenders, their second-choice vote is counted instead.
But a Colby College poll released Wednesday found Senator Susan Collins and Democratic challenger Sara Gideon essentially tied and third-party candidates in the famously independent state with enough support to tip the race.
Gideon’s 3.2 point lead in the poll was within the margin of error, while independents Lisa Savage and Max Linn’s support added up to another 5.3 points. Lead researcher Dan Shea said the poll indicated that Gideon would likely net more second-choice votes from Savage and Linn supporters than Collins.
The survey of 879 voters in Maine was conducted Oct. 21-25. It has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.3 percentage points.
Trump’s Omaha Rally Leaves Some Cold (8:09 a.m.)
Trump supporters waited as long as three-and-a-half hours in the freezing cold to get home after a rally in Omaha, Nebraska, on Tuesday night.
Because parking was located far from the rally site at Eppley Airfield, many attendees had to take buses to and from the site. But roads were jammed, leading to long delays.
According to Omaha Scanner, a local news outlet that monitors police radio, at least seven people were taken to the hospital.
Reporters at the rally saw long lines of Trump supporters waiting for the buses, with many huddling for warmth as the temperature dropped. Though the president left shortly after 9 p.m., the rally site wasn’t clear of supporters until 12:30 a.m.
Trump was in Omaha because Nebraska awards one elector in its congressional district, which could be crucial if the race is close.
Biden Builds Significant Lead in Wisconsin Poll (7:10 a.m.)
The Biden campaign got more good news in its quest to rebuild the so-called “blue wall” of Democratic states in the Midwest.
In a Washington Post/ABC News polls released Wednesday, Biden built a significant lead in Wisconsin while remaining narrowly ahead in Michigan.
Among likely voters in Wisconsin, 57% backed Biden, while 40% supported Trump; while in Michigan, 51% backed Biden and 44% supported Trump.
Biden’s 17-point lead in Wisconsin is way ahead of other polls, which show a slimmer 5.5-point lead in the RealClearPolitics average of polls Tuesday. His seven-point lead in Michigan is closer to the average of nine points in that state.
The polls of 798 likely voters in Michigan and 809 likely voters in Wisconsin was conducted Oct. 20-25. Both polls have a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.
Hurricane Cuts Early Voting in Three Florida Counties (6:41 a.m.)
Florida Republicans hoping to use early voting to start chipping away at Democrats’ huge lead in mail-in voting received bad news Tuesday.
Three counties in the state’s conservative Panhandle region have cut early voting hours due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Zeta.
Escambia, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties voted overwhelmingly for Trump in 2016 and are the kinds of places where he’ll need to run up large margins of victory to offset Biden’s advantage in Florida’s cities.
Trump’s persistent attacks on vote-by-mail have led many Republican voters in the state to decide to vote early in-person or on Election Day.
Biden’s Ad Blitz Pitches to Black, Hispanic and LGBTQ Voters
The Biden campaign released another 10 ads on Monday as it continued an ad-making blitz fueled by historic fundraising efforts.
The ads include a gauzy one-minute spot featuring Biden arguing that the country’s character is on the ballot, another featuring his wife, Jill, talking about his life story and a Nebraska veteran criticizing Trump’s leadership.
Two ads appear aimed at Black voters, including one featuring vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris calling on Americans to “vote for change” and another featuring a gospel-inflected song calling on voters to “rise up.”
Three minute-long ads aimed at LGBTQ voters feature Black men discussing Trump’s rhetoric, Biden’s record on gay rights and the symbolic importance of having a Black woman as vice president.
Five Spanish-language ads also tout Biden’s plans for climate change, the economy and the coronavirus pandemic.
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